Ink Black Heart is the latest installment in JK Rowling’s Cormoran Strike thriller series, written under the name Robert Galbraith.
JK Rowlingbest known for writing the Harry Potter Seriehas sparked a backlash online following the release of her latest novel, titled black ink heart.
This is all you need to know.
What is your new book Ink Black Heart about?
black ink heart is the latest installment in Rowling’s Cormoran Strike crime-thriller series, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
The new book features Edie Ledwell, the creator of a popular YouTube cartoon series called The black ink heartwhose fandom, and the internet in general, turns against her after the cartoon is criticized as racist, able-bodied, and transphobic.
Ledwell has her address leaked online with photos of her home, is the subject of death and rape threats, and is ultimately found murdered in a graveyard after being stabbed.
It is suggested that Ledwell was the victim of an orchestrated hate campaign against her when Strike and private detective Robin Ellacott try to solve Ledwell’s murder.
The official synopsis for the book reads: “When frantic and disheveled Edie Ledwell shows up at the office begging to speak to her, private eye Robin Ellacott is at a loss as to what to make of the situation.
“The co-creator of a popular cartoon, the black ink heart, Edie is being chased by a mysterious figure online who goes by the pseudonym Anomia. Edie is desperate to discover Anomia’s true identity.
“Robin decides the agency can’t help with this, and doesn’t think about it until a few days later, when he reads the shocking news that Edie has been Tasered and then killed at Highgate Cemetery, the location of The black ink heart.
“Robin and his partner Cormoran Strike are drawn into the quest to discover Anomia’s true identity.
“But with a complex web of online aliases, business interests and family conflicts to navigate, Strike and Robin find themselves embroiled in a case that stretches their powers of deduction to the limit, and threatens them in new and horrific ways…”
Does the book reflect JK Rowling’s own controversies?
The online public was quick to point out the similarities between Rowling’s new book, including several critics, such as Jake Kerridge in the Telegraphwho wrote: “[Rowling’s] new thriller sees a female celebrity hounded by fans of childhood fantasy. I wonder where she got the idea from…”
For those unaware, in 2020, Rowling found herself at the center of controversy online after she posted tweets that were deemed “transphobic.”
At the time, Rowling took issue with an article that used the phrase “menstruating people”.
She tweeted the article and added: ““People who menstruate”. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Somebody help me. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
In response to her tweet, many pointed out that menstruation is not something exclusively cisgender women experience.
Many highlighted the fact that transgender men experience menstruation, transgender (and some cisgender) women do not, and other gender identities across the spectrum can also experience periods.
Her tweet started a conversation online about transgender people and their rights as a community, and Rowling, despite claiming she is not transphobic, continued to double down on her stance.
Over the following weeks and months, Rowling continued to post anti-transgender views online, as well as posting a lengthy personal essay titled JK Rowling writes about her reasons for speaking out about sex and gender issues.
She tweeted about the essay with the caption “TERF Wars.”
In the essay, Rowling wrote: “I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I don’t want to make natal girls and women less safe.
“When you open the doors of bathrooms and locker rooms to any man who believes or feels he is a woman – and, as I said, gender confirmation certificates can now be given without the need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to each and every man who wishes to enter.
However, several studies have found that the implementation of anti-discrimination laws, which allow transgender people to use the correct bathroom for their gender identity, has not led to any increase in criminal activity.
Those who criticized Rowling for her transphobic views include Harry Potter It stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.
Even before the 2020 tweets, Rowling faced backlash the year before after publicly supporting Maya Forstater, a researcher whose employment contract was not renewed after she posted her own transphobic tweets on the social media platform.
Rowling, however, has claimed that the book’s content was in no way inspired by any of her recent online controversies.
Appearing in Graham Norton Radio show podcast, Rowling said, “I should make it very clear after some of the things that happened last year that this doesn’t represent [that].
“I had written the book before certain things happened to me online.
“I told my husband, ‘I think everyone will see this as a response to what happened to me,’ but it really wasn’t.
“The first draft of the book was finished at the time certain things happened.”
“So I would like to make it very clear that I have not written this book as a response to anything that happened to me.
“Although I have to say when it happened to me, those who had already read the book in manuscript form were – are you clairvoyant? He wasn’t clairvoyant, just…yeah, it was just one of those weird twists.
“Sometimes life imitates art more than one would like.”
How has the reaction been online?
As the content of Rowling’s new book began to spread, many online were quick to share their thoughts.
On Twitter, one person wrote: “JK Rowling writing a book about being attacked by people who don’t tolerate her bigotry under the pseudonym she borrowed from the man who invented anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy should really put it into perspective.” to anyone who continues to support her work.”
The person is referring to the fact that Rowling’s pseudonym shares a name with Robert Galbraith Heath, an American psychiatrist who pioneered a variety of practices that laid the groundwork for the devious methods of gay conversion therapy.
He experimented with a variety of techniques to “cure” gay men, such as the use of electroshock treatments and other similar procedures that have since been condemned by the medical community.
A spokesperson for Rowling said: “JK Rowling was not aware of Robert Galbraith Heath when he chose the pseudonym for his crime novels.
“Any claim that there is a connection is baseless and false.”
With respect to The black ink heart, another person tweeted: “JK Rowling releasing a transphobic book under her transphobic pseudonym about being bullied online for being transphobic is beyond parody. You are a billionaire. Log off.”
“I love that JK Rowling not only victimizes herself in her new book, but also goes after fat people and people with disabilities. [Postural tachycardia syndrome] and fibromyalgia this time. How can there be so much hate in one person? She acts as if she has been crucified. We understand. You hate sick and trans people. Yawn,” tweeted another.
Lark Malakai Gray, the co-host of the Harry Potter podcast called the joyful prophet saying NPR in an email that found the situation “deeply embarrassing” for Rowling.
He wrote, “She has published a 1,000-page self-inserted fanfiction where she is the victim; she’s the kind of behavior you’d expect from a petulant teenager, not an adult with immense wealth and power.
“I have no idea what I was expecting, but seeing the internet full of jokes about the book has been an absolute joy after all the damage it has done to my community in recent years.”